I never really cared about Feng Shui, I did not see myself playing around with invisible energies, obviously I thought it was only a spiritual thing but it is often also a rational set of common sense rules.
I started designing my brushroom/office without any consideration of Feng Shui at all, mainly because it was too small to allow that many possibilities anyway. I was just a very mathematical person: “here I have enough space for the desk, here for the vanity, here for the drawers, etc etc… ” But something felt wrong and I couldn’t get what was causing it. Two months ago, luckily before I started buying -too much- stuff, several things started to make sense. It was starting to take shape in the wrong direction, a bland office with a vanity in the corner, an office with a storage depot, or sometimes it looked like a kitchen with a computer. “What is that mirror doing in the kitchen” was once the first thing that came to my mind.
I had to do something about it, although this is a tiny room it’s still a huge opportunity to do something fun and to enjoy a little soothing space just for me and my brush friends.
I am not an interior designer, hence I don’t want to have the pressure of having to do everything perfectly well and perfectly trendy, it’s just too hard for someone who doesn’t have the skills, the time, the budget and the means. If I put the standards too high I will stress, I won’t have fun and I may never finish this project. I don’t have the taste and skills of a professional, I just want to feel good and enjoy a place that speaks to me. Of course if I had an unlimited budget everything would be much easier 🙂 Lastly, try to find original cheap furniture in Switzerland, it’s impossible! Everything is expensive and the choice is so boring!
I was facing a few issues:
- Feng Shui. The only place where I could easily fit my desk, it was facing away from the door, it means I would be turning my back to the door, that is the worst in terms of Feng Shui (and common sense positioning).
- Over-storage. I needed lots of storage but at some point, too much storage units deprive us from space and a cluttered room robs our creativity.
- Style. I wanted to be stimulated by the colours but not too much that it will induce fatigue, I wished for a comfy modern and glam room but I just couldn’t make up my mind, neither on the colour nor the style.
1. Feng Shui issues
My little brushroom/office is tiny, 3mx3.20m, the possibilities are very limited due to its size and due to the position of the two windows and door but I had to do something about the chair, the door and the desk… it just felt too wrong to sit back to the door. There wasn’t much I could do though, I tried to consider “Feng Shui solutions” for when you have no other choice, for example getting a very strong solid chair with a back that goes up to shoulder level for protection, the further it extends, the better. I found a wonderful white leather chair so comfy that it’s nearly unbelievable, I never sat on such a comfy office chair in my entire life and I love it, it’s perfect and I can even rest my head. But I wasn’t happy yet, that solution did not help.
Another solution is to place mirrors so that you can see the door behind, the risk is to get distracted… I found an inspiring photo on Houzz that shows several mirrors, lots of tiny mirrors distract less than a huge one. It was better but I still wasn’t feeling ok …
…and there is more, the desk was initially planned to be transparent glass. I though it was a good idea because I can clean it and sanitize it -specially when you are playing around with brushes and make-up, there is always bacteria- but I did not feel at ease with a glass desk, in Feng Shui, a glass-top desk can cause money and business deals to fall through. I heard you can solve that with putting a wood panel underneath or an opaque glass, so instead of a transparent glass desk, I ordered a thick opaque white glass panel where you couldn’t see through and still benefit from it’s cleanable surface.
I have to confess that I already have the most un-Feng Shui place at work, it’s an open space, I am sitting in the middle of the passageway, with no natural light, I can’t even see a window, it’s super noisy due to the people around and due to the unfinished structure of the industrial building, there is no protection whatsoever around me, and the cherry on the cake: I am back to the traffic of the entrance and totally exposed… Sitting in a place like that makes me really sad, even if I work in a big luxury group with a job that I enjoy and nice colleagues, I spend more than 8 hours per day there, it just doesn’t feel nice or peaceful and doesn’t help with concentration. I don’t want to repeat that same feeling at home, I have to do the best I can to feel happy and at peace with my surroundings.
So, I changed the brushroom plans and I decided to switch the desk to a different angle. The instant I took that decision I felt so much better! Seriously, as soon as I decided to change the plans, all started to feel right and the ideas were flowing better than before.
Bottom line: I listened to Feng Shui, but at first I was refusing to change the plans, after I did some testing I was forced to admit that I really had to change them!
2. Storage cluttered room versus minimalist furniture
Ok, I need storage, but what’s better: Plenty functional storage or a pretty room with moderate storage ? hmmm You will have less storage but when you spend time in the room you will enjoy the space… That’s a tough decision…
When I was designing the first plans, I started loading the room with drawers and sections for storage but at the end in the plans it looked like a kitchen or a storage depot. Did not look much like a chilling and modern place 😀 I decided to changed that too, instead of big storage furniture I decided to use smaller drawers and place a long chair under the window where I would sit comfortably, cat nap, read, drink tea, chat, etc… That was an amazing decision. It dramatically changes the room from a bland place to a gorgeous glam one.
Bottom line: compromising on storage can help with the final look, I still found a few storage ideas that will be fun and won’t overload the space.
At first I wanted a Japanese type deco, reds, black and woods. That idea didn’t last long, red is just too stimulating and doesn’t allow my mind to rest.
Then, my second decision was to paint the accent wall taupe and the others cream, I bought samples and when I tried I found that awful, I was sick looking at it. It looked like poo on the wall.
I did not know what to do, I couldn’t find a colour combination that made me happy. So, I started browsing Houzz.com, after a few weeks, I decided I would inspect the furniture shops that we have around Geneva and check out their style to see where I would feel good, I spent a few days zombying around in their fake rooms, I was afraid they would think I was planning to live there or something. I was a bit shy to repeat my long visits but at the end it was helpful.. Sometimes I would ask them: “Where can I find this?” pointing at a little deco item in a corner. They would always reply that it’s from an old collection and that they don’t had them any more.. that’s when I told them I wouldn’t leave the shop without it 😀 … it was for fun but it worked, and that happened several times… I managed to go home with items that weren’t even for sale 😀
The ideas started to flow one by one, a lot of browsing, reading and self-studying too because my personality has to be reflected in the room and the décor is going to build up slowly to match me. It will change as I evolve, but it’s normal, it’s totally normal to get inspired by other’s experiences, we just have to pick our very own mixture. I love contemporary styles, strong statements, white furniture, metal and black accents, a very complex mixture of textures and surprisingly I discovered I love cool dark ocean teals and blues…and there I had my final pattern. Or is it? For now it is.
Luckily it was just after Christmas so a lot of shiny metal deco items were on sale, I managed to gather a few lovely items but they were so mixed, brass, bronze, golds… but no worries, guess what? while watching a DIY video I learnt that one of the 2015 trends was mixing metals! how amazing is that? 😀
Since I was in the topic, why not have a look at 2015 trends and see how aligned I was with that? It started as a curiosity and it ended making me feel good because I had chosen things that would easily fit in those upcoming trends.
These are some of the 2015 interior design trends that I found listed on the web:
I don’t like that, I don’t find that sharp things are soothing.
- Black and White with any pop of colour
Well yes, actually that’s spot on what I have selected. It’s timeless, it’s classy.
- Ethnic influence
I already did that in year 2000 in my old flat, it depends… now I don’t like it as much. Ethnic ok when it’s just animal prints, yes for that but it’s mentioned in another trend.
- Hair on hides
No, I don’t like it.
- Animal prints
Indeed, only the accent wall with the vanity will be stencilled with animal print! A slightly shiny and textured light grey tiger stripes on a matte white wall! it’s nearly shocking and I thought it would be a too dramatic idea but when I received the stencil I did some testing… and it looked so incredibly gorgeous and fresh! It looks great with the rest of the furniture, with the metals and the light wood.
We will see… I can show you some of my tests even though it’s with minimal paint and on a rough surface, still, it gives you the idea…
The ceiling is that same grey colour, the other walls are just plain white. I have to keep it simple and not too cluttered, if I combine too many things together the fabric and the print may not work, until it’s done I won’t know for sure… I am just crossing fingers it will look as great as I had imagined! Even my bf who is so conservative loves it so there’s hope 🙂
I am not a floral person but I admit they soften a room. The black and white fabric that I will be using both on the vanity bench and on the long chair is a bit like an abstract floral. It’s the Marimekko Joonas fabric, an example on the right of each pic here:
- Nature elements
Yes I have always loved that, I will do my best to have a few.
- Lighter woods
I bought some light wood to build a vanity bench and I put the wood panels near the white drawers by accident, it looked amazing together, so I decided to do that for real, frame the dresser with light wood panels all around.
In this picture it’s not done yet, and the wood is still covered with the protective plastic but the light wood with metals and the shiny white drawers is a modern healthy looking combination.
Nope, not for me, I don’t like that and it attracts too much dust.
Don’t like it.
- Glam interiors
Oh yes again, 1000x yes. I love the luxurious look of mirrors, metals, gorgeous fluffy lux cushions! I hope it works out but there will be glam!
Since I have recently received the mirror, I can show you a pic, it’s a hand-made mirror, it took more than a month to be ready, the frame is made out of wood but the paint and design is mixed silver and gold and it follows a bit the theme of the stripes… It’s safely stored waiting for the brush room to be ready.
- Brass and burnished metals
I love that, I have always loved brass or metal accents mixed with white and wood. The fact it’s a trend and I am free to mix them without shame it’s just wonderful, no need to worry any more 😀
- Greek keys
That’s funny because I have ordered furniture overlays that are actually shaped like greek keys… but with all the changes I don’t know if they will still have a place in this room. Without knowing it was a trend, I ordered them as I knew they would take long to arrive, I don’t think I will use them here though.
- Oversize canvases and Digital prints
I have no wall space to hang big pieces, although I would love to, but I have an idea cooking 😉
This is just part of what will be in the room, there is the lights, the display cabinets, the curtains… I don’t know if I will change my mind again but I am pretty sure that now I am decided!
I think I should consider Feng Shui a little bit more in my life. I have been living with my bf for 13 years, he always refused mirrors and electronic equipment in our bedroom, he never said it was because of Feng Shui. When I recently asked him, he just said that it wasn’t healthy to sleep with them around, he says “it’s just basic common sense rules“.
After reading many Interior Design sites and watching many videos, Feng Shui seems quite important for many people and obviously it’s calling for more and more attention. But, that’s where I don’t get it. There are still many famous interior designers who use clear glass office desks, or mirrors in the bedroom, or fans or beams above the bed, and so on, so my question is, how much do you follow Feng Shui rules?
Do you pay attention to where you place your items, to how you combine them ? Did you had an experience where you felt better after you moved things around ? I would really love to read what is your opinion about it, it’s a weird topic but I truly think it’s interesting and that it has an impact in our lives.
If you don’t mind sharing with me (us) please do so… I’ll be delighted to read you! <3
I hope you enjoyed this little overview of the future brushroom/office… that is if I don’t change my mind again 😀 Still working on the walls but as soon as I have a reveal date, I share!